Tom Hanks typewriter Hanx Writer app is a runaway success on iTunes
The Hanx Writer Tom Hanks typewriter app combines the nostalgic pleasure of the manual with all the modern convenience of the iPad – and we're hooked, writes Laura Tennant
The Hanx Writer Tom Hanks typewriter app combines the nostalgic pleasure of the manual with all the modern convenience of the iPad – and at Culture Whisper we're hooked, writes Laura Tennant
The last typewriter produced in Britain was donated to the Science Museum in 2012. But the machine responsible for the first drafts of countless 20th century classics is far from dead.
Plenty of our more old-school writers (think PJ O’Rourke, Will Self, Frederick Forsyth, Don DeLillo and Danielle Steele) prefer the typewriter to either long-hand or a laptop, citing the discipline it imposes (when deletion is not so easy, writers tend to think before they type).
Last year, in the wake of Wikileaks, the Kremlin issued its agents with electric typewriters to improve security (no danger of hacking into a trusty Smith-Corona Silent Super). And of course typewriters remain a popular choice anywhere in the world where a reliable electricity supply is not guaranteed.
As collector Anthony Casillo explains, typewriters are in many ways more practical. ‘People still use typewriters because they still work. They offer a distraction-free alternative to the modern day methods for producing a document. They challenge the user to be more efficient and see their errors on paper.’
Now Tom Hanks has outed himself as a long-term typewriter user, and collaborated on an app, the Hanx Writer, which combines the ease of an iPad with the satisfying sound effects of a typewriter. Currently topping the iTunes chart, the Hanx Writer is a testament to our nostalgia for the days when accurate touch-typing and our own unaided brainpower produced literary gold.
As Hanks explains, ‘In the late '70's, I bought a typewriter – portable enough for world travel and sturdy enough to survive decades of ten-fingered beatings. I've since acquired many more – each different in design, action, and sound. Each one stamps into paper a permanent trail of imagination through keys, hammers, cloth and dye – a softer version of chiseling words into stone.
‘I write without caring about typeovers, XXXX'd out words, goofy syntax, & bad spelling because the feel & sound of a typewriter is satisfying in ways that couldn't be matched. Until now!
‘With Hanx Writer, you'll hear the rhythm of your work with SHOOK SHOOK or FITT-FITT. You can rely on a DELETE key to correct your typos, or turn that off. Be bold and fearless!’
Using an ipad to get the feel of a typewriter may not be very authentic (for that, visit quirky vintage typewriter sites typewriters.co.uk and portabletypewriters.co.uk ). But we think it has a certain, irresistible charm.
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